CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne


The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

by Marzia Coltri
A paper presented at the CESNUR 2010 conference in Torino.© Marzia Coltri, 2010. Please do not quote or reproduce without the consent of the author

A Metaphysical changeEarly in the 1930s RastafarI emerged as a new religious liberative movement for the oppressed people who faced the effects of colonialism in the ‘Third World’.

my family name   :   offended

my first name       :   humiliated

my status              :   rebel

                   my age                  :   the age of stone  [1]

The RastafarI movement has created a semantic code which provides a new sense of self-liberation for the people of the African Diaspora.

Rastafarianism (emphasis mine) is an expression that has been used in a variety of different and sometimes conflicting ways by the major part of academics from various areas of studies (Anthropology, Sociology and Theology). I argue that the traditional concept of Rastafarianism, which has been widely introduced and discussed in Western literature, reflects a theoretical framework which does not see the view of the indigenous populations (Rastas). Instead of criticizing it, however, scholars such as Leonard Barrett, Barry Chevannes and Obiagele Lake have reformulated Rastafarianism by using the word RastafarI. The RastafarI movement is defined as an African Diaspora ‘Liberation Theology’ (a new Ethiopianism) of the ‘Third World’ where its followers (the Rastafarians or Rasta) believe in the historical figure of Haile Sellassie I, the former Christian Emperor of Ethiopia, as the ‘Black’ Messiah. RastafarI is employed as a term related to the King of Ethiopia before his coronation, Ras Makkonen Tafari (1892-1975). The tendency in the Rastafarian literature is to ignore or to give scant attention to its ‘semantic change’ (the symbolic meaning) whose etymology ought to be traced back to the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian roots.

This paper examines the redefinition of Rastafarianism in terms of changes taking place in a phenomenological understanding (autocoscienza) of the term ‘RastafarI’. This term has led me to investigate the reason for which the RastafarI movement has renounced Rastafarianism in favour of ‘RastafarI’. It is surprising that essays, books and papers or anthologies related to the matter, have not made explicit that the concept of Rastafarianism is a theoretical framework which is strongly rejected by the Rasta.

In order to understand RastafarI, it is necessary to take a brief look at the word RastafarI as a whole. The religious orientation in RastafarI is rooted in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity and the majority of Rastafarian groups are Christian Orthodox. The influence of Christian dogmas is central in maintaining the Rastafarian thinking and the effects of these teachings are profound in their lives. Through a theoretical investigation, the present essay will explore: 1) both the ways in which Rasta people have established a symbolic linguistic system and the contrasting analogies between the suffix -I and the suffix – ism; 2) the innate link between the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) and its legacy to Rastafarian religious ideology; 3) the Monophysite doctrine and its impact on Rastafarian thinking. To illustrate my argument, I will analyse in this article the Monophysite doctrine as the key to reading the messianic redeemer ‘King-God’ Haile Selassie I as the black living God who came again to liberate all the oppressed.

Concerning word change: the suffix -ism

There is a certain tendency for transmitted words to acquire a negative connotation. Thus, the suffix –ism, originally was value-laden, but whether it had a positive or negative connotation depended on the context.  The noun suffix -ism comes from the Greek suffix -ismós and from the Latin –īsmu (m) which means ‘the act, practice, or theory of’, and corresponds to verbs in -ize (criticize, monopolize and neutralize) and adjectives that end in –ist/istic (activist, imperialist and militarist). From the late Middle-Ages, throughout the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries to the modern era, several artistic, literary and philosophical movements adopted the suffix – ism (Humanism, Impressionism and Romanticism). The suffix -ism is added to nouns or word roots and it became central in Western thinking. Indeed, the majority of European languages adopted it. It is generally used to form nouns which describe social, political and religious beliefs, cults or doctrines - Buddhism, Catholicism, Communism, Feudalism, Imperialism, Liberalism and Marxism. Furthermore, the root –ism can refer to the behaviour of a person or a group of people who adhere to an ideological system, like Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism, feminism, Negro-ism [2] (emphasis mine), post-colonialism, and Rastafarianism. 

The novelist, poet and politician Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938), known as the Italian Vate (prophet) in the Mussolini era, pointed out in one of his letters of 11 March 1881 that the suffix -ism was a linguistic trend in European languages. [3] [4] A very large number of scholars (philosophers, theologians, sociologists, anthropologists and political theorists) overused – ism, applying it to anything, as D’Annunzio observed.

Notoriously, many words and concepts come into the twentieth century as a political phenomenon of hegemonic systems (Antonio Gramsci) which are thus dominant, divisive and outside.

RastafarI versus Rastafarianism: an ethical outlook

In the first part of my paper, I shall take a discourse analysis approach to the various styles of communication and expression, noting how they have changed and been employed throughout history both by the politics of the dominators and the dominated. The expression ‘Rastafarianism’ might also be highly problematic. Indeed, this term conjures up inevitable misrepresentations and misinterpretations both for those scholars who analyse it just as a ‘phenomenon’ (the Other) and to those who belong to it as a movement. For the majority of Western scholars, Rastafarianism is merely a strange and contradictory group with anti-Western (white) views, while the term Rastafarianism is not preferred by Rasta people because it is too vague, and connotes the colonial attitudes of ‘Babylon’ (the West). [5] They believe that Rastafarianism is a discriminatory way of labelling the RastafarI world as a minority sub-group which is excluded by the ‘Main Thinkers’ (the world-economy [6] ). Their customs, language and ‘mindset’ have been mostly used as objects of analysis.  

Richard C. Salter and Ikael Tafari in their essay Rastafarianism in the Encyclopedia of Religion argue that the RastafarI literature often comes from ‘outside’ academics rather than the Rastafarian communities (Rasta voices from an ‘inside’ position) although nowadays there are key figures (poets-writers-scholars) of the Rastafarian literature in academia such as Benjamin Zephaniah and Yasus Afari, and women such as Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah, Imani Nyah, Lake Obiagele, Llaoo Sister and Maureen Rowe. Although there were several misunderstandings and controversies regarding the Rastafarian phenomenon, now both the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ positions have led to a reasonable empathetic approach to the ‘phenomenon’. As Salter and Tafari observe, the non-Rastafarian scholars have dealt chiefly with the myth of objectivity. This has allowed ‘ideological and even epistemological biases on the part of the outsider to lurk beneath the cloak of objectivity’. [7]

 My undertaking should not to be interpreted as merely a preference or sympathy for the traditions of a minority movement (RastafarI) over mainstream groups. On the contrary, I will focus on the interpersonal features of language in RastafarI. What it can suggest is a more ethical understanding (the notion of neutrality) which encompasses the integral meaning of RastafarI proposing it as a metaphysical (symbolic) word which is present in the Monophysite doctrine. Indeed, for Rasta people, the term Rastafarianism is negative and ignores the ‘metaphysical change’ of RastafarI made ‘of and by the people’.

A. Hampaté Bâ, in his essay, The living tradition, states: ‘Many religious, magical or social factors, then, combined to preserve the faithfulness of oral traditions’. [8] In other words, people are architects of their customs as Tacitus noted in ‘Historiae, quicquid usquam gentium’ (Histories of the people, whoever and wherever).  

Changing God: Who is Ras Tafari?
A link between Monophysitims and RastafarI

The second part of this present study, the aim is to explore and understand the native idiomatic expression of RastafarI through looking at the Ethiopian Monophysite doctrines. The matter of RastafarI identity is associated with the word RastafarI. RastafarI is the favoured name given by the Rasta people and has a symbolic meaning. Firstly, RastafarI is made up of the title Ras which literally means (in Amharic) Duke or Prince (also Head) and the name Tafari (the baptismal name) which signifies ‘he who inspires awe’. Ras Tafari was born (1892) near the city of Harrar in Ethiopia and was crowned as Haile Selassie I (1930), the founder of  the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Patriarchate in Addis Ababa and the final Ethiopian Christian Orthodox Emperor [9] . In the ancient Semitic language also referred to as Ethiopic (Ge’ez [10] ), Haile Selassie I signifies the power of the Trinity. For the Ethiopians he is H.I.M. (His Imperial Majesty), and for Rastas H.I.M. is considered as Jâh of Ethiopia.  

My focus concerns the ending and changeable letter –I, which symbolizes, on the one hand, the high status of the king as the first (I°- I); on the other hand, it can be associated with the ineffable name and belief of Rastafarians (or Rastas) who consider Haile Selassie I to be a God (YHWH). It is said that, in two rare Syriac manuscripts (MSS) with 27 illustrations, the Book of Protection: Being a Collection of Charms [11] , the Ring (or Seal) of King Solomon (§ 41) contains a list of 29 names of Gods (who remain inexplicable) along with a list of Kings, governors, supporters, protectors and deliverers of divine goodness. The texts were written in Esṭrangelā (a Syriac script), dated 1802-3 and translated into English at the beginning of the twentieth century by Professor Sir Hermann Gollancz (1852 – 1930). They describe the history of Syrian magic, its origin and its development (the pronunciation of charms, incantations, amulets and exorcism). This anthology contains a series of prayers with the purpose of obtaining protection. Their contents are very similar to the Ethiopian Book of Life: in fact, in each chapter the following prayer is recited as follows: ‘In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost’. It is interesting to note that they also found the term Jâh, the Eternal, and this appears to be written on the Seal of Solomon. This can be associated with the Rastafarian belief which sees Jâh as the name of Haile Selassie I, the living God. This assumption derives from the fact that inside the ring were inscribed the letters YHWH, the great name of God, the Lord, and the Almighty. For Rasta, the name of God is Jâh (Yâh) which is the diminutive of the word JHWH or YHWH. Indeed, Jâh (Yah) is an abbreviation of Jehovah or Yahweh using the four Hebrew letters (Yod, He,Waw, and He) which are transliterated as ‘JHWH’ or ‘YHWH’ (God). ‘I AM THAT I AM’ (Exodus 3:14). The name ‘YHWH’ was also used by Solomon as a means of protection against demons, which is ‘similar to that which medieval astrologers used in connection with ABRACADABRA’ [12] . Jews, Syrians, Arabs and Ethiopians believe that the ring of Solomon had magical and medicinal powers. According to the Ethiopian Kebra Nagast (the Glory of Kings), in which the love story between the Queen of Sheba (known as Makeda by Ethiopians) and Solomon is narrated, it is said that Solomon gave his ring to Makeda as a sign of their love and commitment.

And Solomon took her aside so that they might be alone together, and he took off the ring that was upon his little finger and gave it to the Queen, and said unto her: “Take this ring so that thou mayest not forget me; and if it happens that I obtain seed from thee, this ring shall be unto it as a sign; and if it shall be a man-child he shall come to me, and the peace of God be with thee! Whilst I was sleeping with thee I saw many visions in a dream, and it seemed as if a sun had risen upon Israel, but it snatched itself away and flew off and lighted up the country of Ethiopia; maybe the country shall be blessed through thee; God knoweth... [13]

 In an interpretation offered by Rasta, it is suggested that Haile Selassie I is not just a King who descended from the Solomonic lineage, the 225th direct descendant of King Solomon set on the Throne of David. Ras Tafari Makkonen was proclaimed on November 2nd 1930 at St. George’s Cathedral, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia as Haile Selassie I (Might of the Holy Trinity), King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God. Haile Selassie I is beyond doubt the former King of the dynasty of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba [14] who ruled in Ethiopia, and is the symbol –I, the last Rastafarian letter which represents InI, the third entity. As Ras Michael claims, in his interview with the scholar William Spencer published in Dread Jesus: ‘You see, no God is ever one. Three in one’. [15] Such a theological identification (parallel) between Jâh and Jesus Christ ('Iyesus in Amharic) can be linked to the metaphysical foundations of the Monophysite doctrine which interprets Christ-Messiah as having one divine nature. Christ is both perfect divinity and human being. The divine and the human nature are in an indivisible state of union without separation, confusion and change. The Jungian psychologist Barbara Black Koltuv observes in her book, Solomon & Sheba: Inner Marriage and Individuation, that the Solomonic kings ‘were also Gods, since Christ was descended from Solomon, and he was the Son of God’. [16] This statement implies the divine mystery of a ‘God-King’. Hence, Haile Sellassie I is a ‘kinsman of God’, Son and God of Ethiopia in which his physical nature is consubstantial with the Father and the Son.

Furthermore, -I in the Rastafarian discourse is InI (I&I) and is the coexistence of and the relation between God and the world, God and the human being, and God and his Son (Jesus Christ). The scholar Ernest E. Cashmore, in Rastaman, points out:

I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness, the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. The bond of Ras Tafari is the bond of God, of man. But man itself needs a head and the head of man is His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia [17]

This is expressed by the idiomatic or colloquial letter ‘n’ which signifies ‘and’. According to the Monophysite doctrine, which is more philosophical-metaphysical than theological, Ras Tafari can be considered to be a ‘second’ Jesus Christ, ‘the One Incarnate Nature of God the Word’ born in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Christ and thus Ras Tafari, after the hypostatic union, were no longer of two natures. The divine and human natures were made one (Tewahedo). In fact, after the incarnation the two natures became one and Ras TafarI is hence one Person with one nature.

An Ethiopian manuscript came into the possession of the British Library, the Lefâfa Sedek [18] , the Book of Life (the Bandlet of the Righteousness: An Ethiopian Book of the Dead), The Lefâfa Sedek, edited in English by Budge, was written around the sixteenth century in Ethiopic (Ge’ez) by an Ethiopian Orthodox monk. This manuscript contains both Christian and pagan traditions. It is considered by the Ethiopians to be a talisman which includes the secret and magical names of God(s) - similarly to those quoted in the Book of Protection - and the Persons of the Trinity. This manuscript relates that Jesus Christ appeared on the sixteenth day of the month Yakâtît (February) to Mary when she was in the ‘Garden’ (Paradise) [19] . At this time, the Lord gave the ‘Book of Life’ and revealed the secret names of the Lord, who is the God. The Scriptures say: ‘I will write upon him my new name’ (Revelation 3:12). Also: ‘Another book was opened, which is the book of life’ (Revelation 20:12). Indeed, such names were apparently uttered by Christ to the Virgin Mary (Dengal Maryam, the Covenant of Mercy). All sections of the Lefâfa Sedek begin with the words: ‘In the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God’ which was written by God with his hands before the divine mystery of the incarnation. The Lefâfa Sedek and the Book of Protection includes a large number of biblical references: indeed, this it depends on the wide use of scriptural words, phrases and metaphors used in these writings. The Book of Revelation and the Book of Life together with the Kebra Negast, play a formative role in Rastafarian thinking. Rasta people, especially the Ethiopian World Federation (EWF), find these books the legal sources for their spirituality.

So we may ask who is Ras Tafari (Haile Selassie I)? He is the person - in three co-eternal Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit made of the same substance of God (three in one and one in three –the formula of the Trinity). He is a mediator between God and ‘Man [20] (emphasis mine) where his hypostasis (human-divine) is combined in one nature. He is the logos (λόγος) – the reason, the mind, the Word of God who through his own intrinsic phronenis-wisdom has taken over human nature which is not inseparable from his Reason (human nature is conjoined with divine nature). In fact, in the Rastafarian Monophysite sense, the being of Ras Tafari is identified as InI, human and divine. Therefore, the divinity of Ras Tafari can be expressed as follows: 1) He is the Lord (Christ) who is a God; 2) There is only one God that is God; and 3) H.I.M. Haile Selassie I is this One God. He is God and eternal because He is Logos. His Logos existed with God from eternity. This is the main historical and spiritual link between the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and RastafarI which is based on a philosophical, metaphysical and Christological interpretation.


This discussion has demonstrated a re-reading of RastafarI in terms of comparative religion, drawing on the interaction between two religious movements: RastafarI and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Chuech. This supports the claim that RastafarI profoundly parallels the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

My essay The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and its legacy in RastafarI: the Metaphysical change in RastafarI has two parts. The first part is a socio-theoretical study of the problematic (contradictory) use of the suffix –ism, precisely Rastafarianism in a negative sense, which is dissociated from its social and theological context. The second part, is a theological analysis that has focused on two themes: the complex significance of -I in RastafarI rooted in the Ethiopian Orthodox creed in Haile Selassie I, the One God, the Father, who was begotten before the creation of the world and is the creator of all the hosts; RastafarI as a religious liberative movement that emphasises Ethiopia (Africa). Thus, RastafarI is deeply bound to Ethiopia (the Promised Land – the primordial homeland). The name Ethiopia appears in the Old Testament: ‘Envoys will come out of Egypt; Ethiopia will submit herself to God’ (Psalm 68:31). The thesis might be seen as conclusion: ‘Rastafari is rooted in returning to, is retrieving, or reinventing African heritage and identity’ [21] through the metaphysical change of the historical figure Ras Tafari into the ‘King-God’ Haile Selassie I.


BCE: Before the Common/Christian Era (BC – Before Christ)

CE: Common Era (AD - Anno Domini)

H.I.M.: His Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie I

EOTC: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

EWF: Ethiopian World Federation

JHWH or YHWH: Jehovah or Yahweh

MSS: Manuscript


-       Autoscienza (autocoscienza colletiva): A term introduced and used by Carla Lonzi and adopted by feminist Italian thought between the 60s and 70s. Autocoscienza signifies (re)-discovery and the (re)-construction of the self, both of the self and a collective sense of the self. I shall employ such a feminist category as that ‘impartial’ ethic of solidarity with all the oppressed (Other) who struggle for their own liberation.

-       Amharic: National language of Ethiopia.

-       Esṭrangelā: The oldest and classical script of the Syriac alphabet (1st Century of BCE)

-      The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church: is member of the Oriental Orthodox Churches (or ante-Chalcedonian Churches) - Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, Eritrean and the (Indian) Malankara

-. For a long time the Ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Church was under the direction of the Coptic Church and became an autocephalous church thanks to Haile Selassie I in the middle of the twentieth century.

-     Ge’ez: Semitic language (syllabic script and liturgical language) of Ethiopia and Eritrea It is believed that Ge’ez ceased to be spoken between the 4th Century CE and the 10th Century CE)

-Ism:  word suffix.

-   ‘Iyesus: Jesus Christ in Amharic and also in Rasta language.

- Jah Rastafari: defined as the original source of all the things, the divine power. (see Yasus Afari).

Kebra Negast: the Glory of Kings in Amharic. The official source of Ethiopia which comes from the Jewish traditions and focuses on two historical events: 1) the birth of Menilek, son of Solomon, and the Queen of Sheba of Ethiopia (970-933 BCE); 2) the Ark of the Covenant carried from Jerusalem to Axum (probably around 950 BCE).  

- Logos (or λόγος in Greek) : 1) a word not in grammatical sense, but a word as embodying a conception or idea; 2) a saying, statement, declaration; 3) reason and mind - the Word of God; (see the Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament) 

Ras: Head

- Ras Tafari: Head Creator (in Rasta parlance)

- Rasta or Rastafarian: adherent the RastafarI religious movement which comes from Jamaica (at the beginning of the 1930s); the Elect of God (Jâh), Haile Selassie I

- Tewahedo: An Ethiopian word which means ‘made One’, or unity. The Orthodox Church considers itself the One Holy, and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ. It is independent, with its own patriarchate in Addis Ababa established by His Imperial Majesty (H.I.M.) Haile Selassie I, the founder of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (1961). Moreover, Tewahedo is used to stress the inseparable nature of God and human beings in the One person of Christ.


Sacred Sources

The Bible(King James Version and New International Version)

Biblical source on line: http://www.biblegateway.com/

Aimé, C. and Kelley, R. D. (2000) Discourse on Colonialism (ed.) J. Pinkham, (New York: Monthly Review Press).

Bono, P. and Kemp, S. (eds.) (1991) Italian Feminist Thought: A Reader (Oxford: Blackwell).

Ba, Hampaté A. (1981) “The living tradition” in Zerbo, J.KI (ed.) General History of Africa I: Methodology and African Prehistory (Heinemann: UNESCO), pp. 166-187.

Brooks, M. E. (ed. and trans) (1995) A Modern Translation of the Kebra Nagast (The Glory     of Kings) (Kingston: LMH Publishing Limited).

  Budge, Sir E. A. W. (ed. and trans) (1929) The Bandlet of Righteousness: An Ethiopian Book of the Dead (London: Luzac & Co).

Cashmore, E.E.H. (1979) Rastaman: The Rastafari movement in England (London: George Allen and Unwin).

Césaire, A. (1946) Et les Chiens se taisaient (Paris: Présence Africaine, 1956).

Cortellazzo, M. & Zolli, P. (2008) Il Nuovo Etimologico: Deli, Dizionario Etimologico Dellla Lingua Italiana, 2nd, M. Cortellazzo & M. A. Cortellazzo, Eds. (Bologna: Zanichelli).

Frantz, F. (1990) The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. by C. Farrington (London: Penguin).

Lanternari, V. (1963) The religions of the Oppressed: A Study of the Modern Messianic Cults.  Trans. by Lisa, S. (New York: Knopf).

Murell, N. S., Spencer W.D., and McFarlane A.A., (eds), (1988) Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader (Philadelphia: Temple University Press).

Koltuv, B. B. (1993) Solomon & Sheba: Inner Marriage and Individuation (York Beach, ME: Nicholas-Hays).

Popper, K. (2005) The Open Society and Its Enemies. Vol. 2, Hegel and Marx, (New York: Routledge).

Price, C. (2009) Becoming Rasta: Origins of Rastafari Identity in Jamaica (New York and London: New York University Press).

Said, E. W. (1985) Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (London: Penguin Books).

Salter, R. C. & Tafari Ikael (2005) “Rastafarianism.” In: Lindsay, J. (Ed) Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA), pp. 7622-7629.

Slone, T. H. (2003) Rasta Is Cuss: A Dictionary of Rastafarian Cursing (California: Masalai Press).

Sommaruga, A. (1885) Giudicatemi! (Firenze: Arte della Stampa) and in Id. (1941) Cronaca bizantina (1881-1885. Note e ricordi), (Milano: Mondadori).

Spencer, W.D. (1999) Jesus Dread (London: S.P.C.K.).

Wallerstein, I. (1979) The Capitalist World-Economy: Essays by Immanuel Wallerstein (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).


Historical source on line related the EOTC: http://negstsaba.com/ChurchHistoricalfact.html



[1] Césaire, Aimé (1956) Et les Chiens se taisaient, revised edition, (Paris: Presence Africane), p. 68.

[2] Frantz, F. (1990) The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. by C. Farrington, (London: Penguin), p. 171.

[3] Cortellazzo, M. & Zolli, P. (2008) Il Nuovo Etimologico: Deli, Dizionario Etimologico Dellla Lingua Italiana, 2nd ed., M. Cortellazzo & M. A. Cortellazzo (eds), (Bologna, Zanichelli), p. 825. D’Annunzio in his letters, says about Language and Philosophy: ‘Discorso di filosofia. Ohibò! C’est trop simple...Ella doveva mettere un titolo più sfolgorante sonante e schiacciante: una dozzina di ismi perlomeno’.

[4] See also some of the letters of D’Annunzio which are collected and edited by Sommaruga, A. (1885) Giudicatemi!, (Firenze: Arte della Stampa) and in Id. (1941) Cronaca bizantina (1881-1885. Note e ricordi), (Milano: Mondadori).

[5] Said, E. W. (1985) Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient, (London: Penguin Books), p. 3.

[6] Wallerstein, I. (1979) The Capitalist World-Economy: Essays by Immanuel Wallerstein, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p. x.

[7] Salter, R. C. & Tafari Ikael (2005) “Rastafarianism.” In: Lindsay, J. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA), pp. 7628.

[8] Ba Hampaté A. (1981) . “The living tradition” in  Zerbo, J.KI (ed.) General History of Africa I: Methodology and African Prehistory, (Heinemann: UNESCO), pp. 167.

[9] Haile Selassie I was deposed on 12th September 1974 and his eldest son Amha Selassie (1916-1997) was appointed as a King of Ethiopia (‘Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen Taffari of Ethiopia’-1930) until the abolition of the Monarchy (1975). However, he was proclaimed ‘Emperor of Ethiopia’ in the late of 1989 - during his exile London. Selassie’s royal family never returned in Ethiopia.

[10] The origin of the Ge’ez language goes back to around the 10th century BCE (the Queen of Sheba time). The Ge’ez is the language of the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia and Eritrea) which belonged to the kingdom of Aksum. This language is still spoken in the liturgies of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Church.

[11] Gollancz, H. (1912) The Book of Protection: Being a Collection of Charms (London: Henry Frowde & Oxford University Press).  

[12] Budge, Sir E. A. W. (ed. and trans) (1929) The Bandlet of Righteousness: An Ethiopian Book of the Dead, (London, Luzac & Co), p. xi.  

[13] (2001) the Kebra Nagast (The Glory of Kings), A Modern Translation, 1st ed., Brooks, M. E. (ed. and trans.) (Kingston, Jamaica: LMH Pubblishing Limited), p. 33.

[14] Furthermore see: ‘King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country’ (1 Kings 10:13).

[15] Spencer, W.D., (1999), Jesus Dread, (London: S.P.C.K.), p. 37.

[16] Koltuv, B. B. (1993) Solomon & Sheba: Inner Marriage and Individuation, (York Beach, ME: Nicholas-Hays), p. 36.

[17]   Cashmore, E. E.H. (1979) Rastaman: The Rastafari movement in England (London: George Allen and Unwin), p. 67.

[18] Budge, Sir E. A. W. (ed. and trans) (1929) The Bandlet of Righteousness: An Ethiopian Book of the Dead, (London, Luzac & Co), p. 21. Lefâfa comes from the word lifâfah , a noun derived from the root laffa which signifies ‘to wrap up’, ‘to twine’, and ‘to bandage’. This became lefâfa (genitive) meaning ‘bandage’, ‘bandlet’, ‘wrapping’ and so on.

[19] Ibidem

[20] When I refer to the word ‘Man’ I would like to criticize the masculine and discriminative (andro-centred) aspect of a western and non-western literature. For example, Italian culture is often andro-white-age-centred; a large number of words encompass the male traits of a socio-political-economic and religious context that is Italy (a patriarchal, hegemonic and divisive system). Given this consideration, I would like to employ a feminist category based on the word autocoscienza which in my view re-locate the position of the woman and sees each woman as a human being. In doing so, I invoke the theory of androgyny (Greek andro/male and gyn/female), according to which all are neither female nor male, white nor black, but persons. 

[21] Salter and Tafari (2005) p.7622